Reference and accessibility from a givenness hierarchy perspective

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Abstract

Most work on reference and discourse structure appeals, in some sense, to the notion of accessibility. While the term "accessibility" itself is rarely mentioned in research within Gundel, Hedberg and Zacharski's Givenness Hierarchy (GH) framework, the GH has often been interpreted by others as an accessibility hierarchy. Th is paper aims to clarify the major claims and predictions of the GH theory, showing how it is fundamentally diff erent from other referential hierarchies in a number of ways, most importantly because cognitive statuses on the hierarchy are assumed to encode manner of accessibility, not degree of accessibility. Th e GH thus diff ers from the other referential hierarchies, not only in the kinds of facts it aims to predict and explain, but in the specifi c empirical predictions that can plausibly be derived from it regarding degree of accessibility, as measured by ease of processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-168
Number of pages21
JournalMaterials Science and Technology
Volume26
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

Keywords

  • Givenness Hierarchy
  • accessibility
  • cognitive status
  • implicature

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